After more than two months of stay-at-home orders, American states are starting to reopen their economies and goods are back to being produced and transported.
Although things are looking up, challenges remain as carrier space is severely limited and some companies are in danger of literally missing the boat to transport their goods – a potential problem OEC Group warned its customers of months ago. A variety of factors have brought us to this point. Specifically, companies are resupplying empty inventories, nonessential businesses are operating again, and importers are getting a late start on the holiday season.
“We were planning transportation strategies months ago when the Coronavirus was beginning to wreak havoc in Asia first,” said Peter Hsieh, Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing here at OEC Group. “We recognized that the most overall cost-effective solution is to secure carrier space and using expedited services is a good way to avoid serious risks until activity starts to return to normal.”
Another advantage of expedited services is to avoid congestion at major ports, particularly, Los Angeles and Long Beach. Driving the congestion issue is a large volume of early shipments by importers as well as languishing containers ordered by companies that have not been able to deliver their goods due to lockdown measures. One carrier, Zim, has already started offering express service from Yantian, China to Los Angeles to help expedite goods and solve some of these problems.
“The new supply and demand disparity will ease up as the economy improves, and capacity has returned to the market,” said OEC Group U.S. East Region President Anthony Fullbrook. “Until then, the goal is to ensure that shipments enter and are processed as smoothly as possible. Expedited service will help accomplish this now.”